As its many reviews have made perfectly clear, Magic in the Moonlight is not a particularly good movie. According to critics, the new Woody Allen dramedy is one of his weakest ever, with a familiar plot, thinly-drawn characters, and a predictable structure. That being said, there is a fairly high chance that I'll be seeing this movie. Why? Because Magic in the Moonlight stars Emma Stone and Colin Firth, and even when there is every reason to stay far, far away, the charms of those actors, combined, is just too much for me to resist.
It would've been different if Firth was co-starring with a different actress than Stone. Alone, Firth is undoubtedly charming; this is Mr. Darcy, after all. Still, he's not foolproof — plenty of his movies have been critical or financial failures, despite their leading actor's adorable awkwardness. Stone, on the other hand, is the reason so many of her movies succeed. She's so damn likable that it's impossible not to want to root for her, even if her films aren't always the best. Her hair, her voice, her knack for hilariously awkward physical comedy — whether starring alone or working alongside another charmer like Firth, the actress manages to make even the most uninspired movies worth seeing. As Magic in the Moonlight sucks us in, a look back at Emma Stone's seven most charming movies:
7. The Help
Played: Skeeter Phelan, an aspiring writer who befriends "the help" of her Mississippi town.
Most Charming Moment: Stone's quiet, lovely work as Skeeter was overshadowed by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer's powerhouse performances, but it's hard to forget how enjoyable she was to watch in scenes like this one.
6. The House Bunny
Played: Natalie, an extremely awkward college student.
Most Charming Moment: "Flirting" with Colby (Tyson Ritter) and making a total, adorable fool out of herself. The character's a bit too much of a cliche for Stone to make as appealing as her other roles, but she's certainly likable.
Played: Wichita, a con artist willing to do whatever it takes for her and her sister's survival.
Most Charming Moment: Seducing Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), who is nervous and awkward and Jesse Eisenberg.
Played: Jules, a nice, popular girl whose announcement of a house party is the event that drives the entire plot.
Most Charming Moment: Listening to Seth (Jonah Hill) sputter apology after apology and growing increasingly amused, all while sporting a black eye. Impressive.
3. Crazy, Stupid, Love
Played: Hannah, a law school graduate whose relationship with Jacob (Ryan Gosling) gets a little complicated when it turns out he's giving sex advice to her dad (Steve Carell).
Most Charming Moment: Discovering the national treasure that is Ryan Gosling's body and making every girl's fantasy come true by doing the famous Dirty Dancing lift move.
2. The Amazing Spider-Man
Played: Gwen Stacy, an OsCorp intern and Peter Parker's (Andrew Garfield) love interest.
Most Charming Moment: Does the SNL skit in which Stone and Garfield "rehearse" their kiss count? Because as charming as Stone's role in the movie is, the real life couple's press tour was even better.
1. Easy A
Played: Olive Penderghast, a high school student whose accidental lie about having sex turns into a huge school scandal.
Most Charming Moment: Basically, the entire movie. The "Pocket Full of Sunshine" montage, though, will always have a special place in our hearts. This is Stone at peak charming.
Image: Sony Pictures Classics